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December 31, 2012 / Joanne Yeck

Ferry Cross the James


James River at Hatton Ferry Crossing, Photo Joanne L. Yeck

With Buckingham’s long exposure to the James River, ferries have long been an important aspect of the county’s culture. As the 18th century progressed and Buckingham’s population steadily grew, public and private ferries (built and abandoned at the planters’ convenience) appeared connecting Buckingham to Fluvanna, Albemarle, and, later, Nelson County. In the 1790s when new river towns like New Canton and Wilson Cary Nicholas’ Warren (Albemarle) were incorporated, they included ferry landings. In 1791, John Horseley’s ferry was established in conjunction with the founding of Dieuguidsville at Bent Creek.

In 1819, the revised Virginia Code mentioned several ferries operating with landings in Buckingham. They included one from John Scott’s to the lands of Randolph Jefferson at Snowden (the original Scott’s ferry), one from Thomas Anderson’s landing to Howard’s landing, one from the land of John Cabell (Buckingham) to his own land on the opposite shore, one from the land of Joseph Cabell Megginson (Buckingham), who was Joseph Cabell’s grandson, to his own land on the opposite shore. Additionally, John Nicholas operated a ferry across the Slate River, not far from where it entered the James River.

For more about ferries in Buckingham County see the December 2012 issue of the Buckingham Beacon or follow this link to a PDF of my article:

“Ferry Cross the James.”

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